Learning from others

The significance of interpersonal learning, important career and management skills, economic modeling, conducting literature reviews, and understanding team dynamics.

Lucas A. Meyer


August 2, 2022

How much of what you do is borrowed from other people? When you realized you learned something from someone, did you tell them?

If you come from a disadvantaged background, there’s a possibility that the adults around you didn’t have much to teach you, or worse, taught you self-limiting behaviors. This is not always true, and many people from disadvantaged backgrounds have a lot of support from their family. However, the ones that don’t may distrust learning from other people. When they find themselves in a supportive environment, that’s a serious impediment.

I had to learn how to learn from other people myself. I recently realized that I haven’t told these people what I learned from them. Here’s my list of amazing people, and the amazing things they taught me. It’s not complete yet, and it may never be.

  • Michal Panowicz taught me about the importance of work skills. I am still surprised at how many people don’t know those things.

    • Setting career goals
    • Naming files to avoid conflicts and confusion, naming documents, titling slides, having a sensible presentation flow
    • Writing good emails, including the appropriate people, sending them on appropriate times, ensure they have clear action items.
  • Ed Rice taught me a lot of Economics, especially how to translate a real-world problem to an economic model. He also taught me how to be a better teacher. Because of him, I still start a lot of sentences with “you know…”

  • Matt Fingerhut taught me a lot about how to be a manager:

    • Protecting time for email and focused work
    • Prioritizing coordination and communication - if the manager doesn’t do this for the team, who would?
  • Urszula Chajewska taught me that science already know the answer to a lot of questions, and how to do better literature reviews

  • Jorge Pulido taught me to (very politely) learn about the incentives of people in teams I collaborate with. This helped me understand collaborators better and made my life substantially easier.

There are a ton of other people that helped me be better. Some I did not include because I still work with them. It would feel sycophantic. Some I didn’t have time to organize how to write about them yet. But I’ll get there!